The SNCC Digital Gateway: Civil rights history translated into action today

The Library now offers access to the SNCC Digital Gateway, about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee — the only national civil rights organization of the 1960s led by young people! Members appearing on this site who were involved in SNCC (pronounced “snick”) in the ’60s speak more of the future than the past, of their work as something that continues through the activism of young people today. Their message is as passionate as it ever was, urging the current generation to “learn from the past, organize for the future, make democracy work.”

You will learn about the civil rights icons Julian Bond, Fannie Lou Hamer, as well as ordinary folk who did extraordinary things through grassroots organizing. You will find stories of people like Ella Baker who organized the founding conference of SNCC at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC, and Unita Blackwell, a child of sharecroppers who, as a member of SNCC, began voter registration drives among her Mississippi neighbors and later became the first African American and female mayor of Mayersville, MI.

As voting rights again come under legislative attack in the states, the voices raised in protest in a previous era gain new resonance, joining with the voices of young activists today. The SNCC Digital Gateway serves as a bridge between the generations, offering the experience of history as a virtual how-to primer on organizing. Videos feature young activists giving practical advice on topics such as:

  • identifying issues in the community
  • strategies and tactics
  • building coalitions
  • controlling the narrative
  • embedding yourself in the community
  • finding consensus
  • sustaining yourself
  • organizing meetings/protests

Visit the SNCC Digital Gateway now. You can find it in the Library’s A-Z Databases list. And check the Library guide to new online resources; it’s updated regularly.

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